Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2013 12:47 PM
Emblematic of the slow but steady rise in health and wellness awareness, the gold-standard of ‘conscious capitalism,’ natural grocer Whole Foods is taking its brand and business acumen into the health resort sector.
"We have the perfect vehicle for this," Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey told USA Today. "Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education."
Call it a spa, resort or "healthy lifestyle education center," it's planned to open in the brand's Austin, Texas, hometown within three years—a pilot project that could catapult the company into the lucrative market pioneered by Canyon Ranch or Pritikin, or it could be another failure along the lines of the five education-focused Wellness Clubs that Whole Foods tested in 2006, including a location in Dallas.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 7, 2013 02:56 PM
Disney CEO and chairman Robert Iger has spent 15 years trying to make Shanghai Disney a reality and now he’s only two years away from walking through its gates. He shared an image yesterday with 450 of the company’s stockholders of what the central 11 acres of the park will look like, including the park’s signature castle. This one, just to put a little exclamation point on things, will be taller than any of the castles in Disney’s five other parks, the Phoenix Business Journal reports.
What Iger didn’t get into is that the new park is close enough to serve as some competition to the one on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, that opened in 2005 and only just turned a profit last year, the L.A. Times reports. Close to half of the visitors to the park—which is 52 percent owned by the Hong Kong government and 48 percent owned by Disney—come from mainland China. Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 20, 2013 01:16 PM
It's just another day in the mad, mad world of fashion. kate spade new york, the eponymous U.S.-based fashion brand is launching "kate spade Saturday," a brand whose name is being disputed by a similarly-coined NYC retailer.
The diffusion line is making its debut in Japan via an online store and a retail location in Tokyo—complete with an American-style café—with plans to have an online presence in Brazil and the U.S. later this spring. (A "sneak peek" at selected items from the new brand was offered on Fab.com through today, February 20.) CEO Craig Leavitt said the brand "saw an opportunity in the market to engage a new customer base—one that aspires to be part of the kate spade new york brand."
The new sub-brand will feature apparel, a beauty line and home decor at a notch below typical kate spade prices, with a target demographic of consumers ages 25 to 35. The price point will be "about 50 percent below" the kate spade brand, and its retail experience promises to thread digital throughout the graphic, pop art-inspired clothes. However, the brand's introduction has not been without some controversy.Continue reading...
Posted by Johnny Trinh on February 1, 2013 03:52 PM
A Bathing Ape (also known as BAPE) creator Tomoaki Nagao (who's also known as NIGO®) has linked with Beams creative director Hiroshi Kubo to produce a limited-edition collection of retro-styled Coca-Cola vendor wear.
NIGO®’s newest label, Human Made, is inspired by pre-1960s Americana. He’s placed a huge emphasis quality and authenticity while still keeping a whimsical nature to the brand with the addition of lighthearted graphics provided by Sk8thing.
As an avid collector of vintage memorabilia, it’s a no brainer that a collaboration with Coca-Cola — ranked currently by Interbrand as the world's best global brand — is a natural fit for both parties. In an interview, NIGO® reveals that he was once a Japan Coca-Cola yo-yo champion back in the '80s and also pulled from his bespoke collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia to inspire this new line.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2012 10:17 AM
It hasn’t been easy for Air Canada in recent years with plenty of quarterly reports filled with losses. So what's an airline in the red to do? Launch a new sub-brand called "Rouge," of course.
Starting in July, Canadians can start using the new low-cost airline, which will initially fly out of Toronto and Montreal to such destinations as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Costa Rica as well as Venice, Italy; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Athens. Consumers could start buying tickets Tuesday.
Later next year, Rouge plans to add more Canadian cities to fly out of as well as international destinations – and not just the ones that Air Canada flies to. "The creation of this carrier is to assist us in serving many destinations that our existing model does not work on a competitive basis," said Ben Smith, Air Canada's chief commercial officer, to the CBC.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Air Canada plans to hire 200 people for Rouge, but those employees shouldn’t expect to be rolling in dough. “Cost savings are expected to come from paying lower wages,” the report notes, “and putting more seats in planes in a so-called new ‘multi-tier seating’ structure.” And we’re not talking just a few more seats. The CBC hears it could be as much as 20 percent more. Prepare to not only fasten your seatbelts but suck in your gut, Canada.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2012 01:07 PM
There’s one in Denmark, and there’s one in England. And now there will be one in Carlsbad, California: a Legoland Hotel. Don’t worry, the place won’t be built out of Legos – at least not the whole thing.
The hotel – complete with a dragon-guarded entrance -- is slated to open in early April of next year right outside the Legoland theme park and will feature “interactive Lego features, themed play areas, family pool and kid's entertainment,” according to Lego's website. The 250 rooms at California's Legoland Hotel will all have a theme: Pirate, Kingdom, or Adventure.
Since the hotel is aimed at housing families who are in town to visit the Legoland theme park (and not to those harboring pirate fantasies of one sort or another), each room has two sleeping areas, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with sleeping spaces for up to three kids. After all, it's hard to beat a brand extension you can sleep in.
No wonder Lego is rolling in dough right now.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 2, 2012 02:02 PM
In socially conservative India, consumers can’t actually buy a copy of Playboy magazine even if all they want to do is read the articles. The mag known for its pics of naked women is banned from being sold in the second most populated country in the world, but that doesn’t mean the Playboy brand isn’t strong there.
It is so strong, in fact, that a Playboy club is set to open in mid-December there, accoding to the Times of India — but don’t get too excited, fellas. The club won’t have any nudity.
“There will be nothing contrary to Indian sensibilities,” said Sanjay Gupta, chief executive officer of Mumbai-based PB Lifestyle Ltd, which has licensed the Playboy name in India and plans to open eight clubs there, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We are in the process of launching a sustained PR campaign starting this month to dissociate Playboy with adult content and nudity.”
"Bunnies are an integral part of Playboy culture," said Gupta to AP. "We will have bunnies but keeping in mind Indian sensibilities, we are toning down the costume. We are working very closely with Playboy to design a bunny outfit for India." Details of the Indian bunny costume, he added, are "confidential."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2012 11:02 AM
Both FedEx and rival UPS have been reporting slowing and disappointing package-delivery activity lately as the global economy cools, especially in previously high-growth areas such as China and India. So FedEx is hoping to extract more revenues from its domestic operations by offering a new service boasting a three-day turnaround: PC repair.
FedEx has begun reaching out to major corporations to perform repairs on their "enterprise" small computers overnight through a new subsidiary called TechConnect, which will repair consumer electronics such as the iPad and the Nook. The company has been fixing its own technology gear for 30 years and saw a gap in the repair marketplace while its primary delivery business has been slowing.
"We found there was a high level of dissatisfaction in the marketplace," TechConnect manager Tod Taylor told USA Today. "What we offer is unparalleled turnaround time."
"First of all, we're probably one of the biggest repair shops for devices like that in the world for the very simple reason that FedEx basically invented the handheld, package-tracking device," FedEx CEO Fred Smith explained to Fortune. "Because a lot of that equipment is built into our DNA, we became very good at repairing it. And it was just a natural progression to tell a lot of our big customers that if you want us to also repair these devices, we can do it for you."Continue reading...